Market rent and comparable market rents

A valid notice of rent review must include three comparable market rents.

What is market rent?

Market rent is defined as a rent that a tenant, not already in occupation, would give willingly and a landlord would willingly take for the rented dwelling, having regard to other terms of the tenancy and the letting values of dwellings of a similar size, type and character to the dwelling and situated in a comparable area to that in which it is situated. 

The RTB also have a useful rent index that reflects the actual rents being paid, according to the RTB’s records, as distinct from the asking or advertised rent, which is the basis of other rent reports. Those reports may also be useful to support your application

Market compariables for setting rent and rent reviews

To set or review the rent a valid notice of rent review must be served accompanied by a statement by the landlord that it is their opinion that the new rent is not greater than market rent having regard to the other terms of the tenancy, letting values of dwellings of a similar size, type and character and situated in a comparable area.

It must include the rent amount for three comparable dwellings of a similar size, type and character and situated in a comparable area to establish market rent. It is important to note that a comparable area does not have to be in the same locality but can be in a different location e.g. a 3 bed property in one rural town can be compared with a 3 bed property in another rural town. 

Evidence of the rent charged for comparable properties can be in the form of advertisements for such properties published within the previous four weeks. If a tenant considers that they are being asked to pay more than the market rent, they can seek clarification from the landlord or submit an application for dispute resolution to the RTB within 28 days of receipt of receiving notice of rent review or before the increase takes effect.

If the landlord has serves the tenant with a valid written notice of rent review, the tenant must submit an application to the RTB before the new rent is to have effect or before the expiry of the 90 days notice from the date of receipt of that notice, which ever is later. Please note that tenants must continue to pay their rent at the existing rent for the tenancy until the case is determined unless both parties agree otherwise.

Approved Housing Bodies Rented Dwellings

For Approved Housing Bodies, the setting and reviewing of rent is set out in the lease and contract provided to the tenant at the start of the tenancy.  The definition of ‘market rent’ above does not apply to Approved Housing Bodies.